Sunday, August 24, 2008

Where have I been?

Having a house door key made and hiding it outdoors. I never want to traipse around the neighborhood in my underwear again.

Learning how to take photographs all over again is fun, yet challenging. Using editing software is another drama that nearly put me over the edge this weekend. I had my photos saved in so many folders that it became a guessing game to find them. That’s a game I do not care to play! The Fuji software worked against my foolish ways. After hours of trying to fix my errors, I uninstalled the Fuji software. Gone. I’m back with Kodak EasyShare which is a quirky software but one I’m familiar with… I only want to crop a photo occasionally and Fuji doesn't offer that feature with ease.

And Fay screwed with us,


Charlotte meteorologists talk about the weather constantly but there’s usually nothing to talk about during all four seasons. We’ve had a few clouds, a little breeze, and cool and humid temps below 90. For that, we’re happy but the dry, dog days of summer continue.

Let me share several test photos again while I listen to Red Red Wine or whatever it's called on the Bose…I need to feel fine.


Night photos rock. Not that I know what I’m doing, mind you. Here are more photos taken during dusk that were impossible before.



The Blue Gray Gnatcatchers sat here a few times and a Cooper’s had a Mourning Dove meal under this Crepe Myrtle yesterday. My camera was inside…


Super macro isn’t working for me right now but I’ll master it eventually. I can do bugs better than this.


There is more depth in my photos now. I love this one…just before sunset.

My fingers and thumbs are clumsy. They don’t know where to go for digital zoom or macro, or for any other button. I cursed when I couldn't focus on a Cardinal,


until I realized I was in macro mode at dusk…damn.


Still working with action and continuous shooting.


Isn’t Bella beautiful at dusk? She's feeling great after her Prednisone summer and now, there's Chloe...

Chloe’s vision is already compromised as a twelve year old. Now she has a nasty cyst on her bottom eye lid that’s giving her grief. We’ll be at the vet tomorrow afternoon… Wish the best for her?


The territorial adult males have headed south, I think. Haven’t seen them in a day or two.


Fat. A result of guzzling too much safflower seed with the pigeons and starlings.


In full, digital zoom I saw the Egret far across the pond this morning. Did I hop in my car and ride over there? Of course, I did!



Wow. I love my Fuji camera more each day.

However, I’m tired as my writing shows. I sit at my computer in the evenings with an hour to spare, read my comments and look at my blogroll, wondering where to begin. It’s overwhelming. Instead of clicking on e-mail comments or Mary’s View, I click on Free Cell and play the mindless game until my eyes cross. If I can’t do it right (blogging), I won't do it at all. I want to be posting and commenting. So, until I get myself organized and settled down in a week or two, I’ll be away for a while, always wanting to be back soon. But hey, if I find a Bald Eagle in my back yard, you’ll hear about it!


Ramblings of a Villas Girl said...

Hi Mary! Sorry I haven't commented lately, but I have read your entries. Sorry, but I was laughing my ass off at locking yourself out of the house. I figured you would have a key made immediately.

Kudos to Johnson. She is an inspiration to us all.

Your pictures are as beautiful as ever.

Wishing you the best of luck Chloe and hope you feel better soon.

Take your time Mary. We'll be here when you get back. And yes if a Bald Eagle shows up in your back yard we better hear and see all about it.

Take care of yourself and the licker sisters. Lisa

Jayne said...

New things cause me stress too Mary. Yes, it's great, but it's new and it's different, and it frustrates me something fierce until I can understand it, so I am feeling your pain. Take all the time you need. You know we'll all be here.

Lynne at Hasty Brook said...

I'll wait for you forever.
Just don't take THAT long!

I'm loving your camera too.

Heidi said...

Hi Mary!
Your pics are grand! I'm very impressed with the Fuji. Especially the dusk pics.

I'm sorry to hear about the other pup now. Hope it's a simple fix with no side effects!

Anonymous said...

I remember this frustration when I got a new camera. It gets better pretty quickly - just keep taking lots of pictures. Practice and perfect, ya know.

Love that first, top photo.

NatureWoman said...

Your pictures are still the best! You rock with that new camera!

BJ said...

Wow! Pictures are fab! Every last one of them. That camera rocks!

Good luck with the pup! Hope it isn't anything too serious!

Anonymous said...

Nice shots with the new toy, Mary! I know how you feel re the blogging. If I'm not feeling it, I'm not writing it, and lately I'm busy with other stuff, like staring off into space and napping on the hammock (and nagging accounts payable departments!). Try not to worry about not posting every day--it's not like this is our job, right?

Good luck with the pupster's eye, too. It's always something with our pets, isn't it? Oy.

possumlady said...

Oh, I really do need to make up my mind on a camera after seeing these photos--just breathtaking! I think I need to go to a camera store and handle some. I really need to get a feel for what I want.

Hope Chloe is okay. Multiple pets means multiple injuries and multiple trips to the vet! But they are SO worth it.

Wendy said...

I can quite understand about the key!
Your bug was cute - he was looking as if he wanted to jump, but wasn't sure.
Love your egrets. They are so majestic. And your hib - it looks like mine! The same lipstick pink.
Good luck at the vet. Hope things work out for Chloe.

Dog_geek said...

Good luck at the vet with Chloe - I hope that it turns out to be nothing to worry about!

KGMom said...

You already have the most important "ingredient" for taking fab photos: your eye. How you see things is the key to good photos. Getting the camera to grab what you see--that will come.
(Pssstt--I think you have it mastered almost completely.)
On photos--does your software allow you to tag labels, so you can search and find photos with certain labels?

Mary C said...

I want to ditto what Donna said - it's your eye and what you see and how you get your camera to display what you see. I don't think it will take you long at all to master your new camera. I hope all will be OK with Choe. I'm sure glad to see Bella back in her usual form.

Mary said...

Donna, I'll bet I could find the software option to search and locate them by labels, but because I handle a multitude of photos every day, I haven't explored that option. It would take so much time. I do, however, store photos away in special folders for events and other subjects related to the work I do on campus.

Susan Gets Native said...

I know how you feel about blog rolls. I can't seem to visit EVERYONE all the time.

Please stay out of the street when you are in your underwear.

Debbie said...

Mary, your photos are wonderful. I don't think it would matter what camera you use, you have a gift. That being said, your new camera seems to really capture your great eye for composition. Really great.

Hope you don't stay away too long.

The Quacks of Life said...

all the best to Chloe

Cheryl said...

Dear Mary......I love what you are taking with your new have the eye.....and share it with us all......
Your writings always hold my attention and world is sweeter with you in it.....

So pleased Bella is doing well, long may it continue and as for dear Chloe my fingers are crossed and sending lots of hugs.....
my old cavalier is stumbling a lot more now, her heart is not good, but the medication keeps her going.....I live from day to day, hoping things do not get any worse......

Great post and hope that you are up and running soon...........

entoto said...

Oh Mary! What great fun to learn a new camera. You will figure it all out, you are so smart.

Best wishes at the vet tomorrow.

beckie said...

I think this camera was well worth the wait, Mary. And you seem to be doing a great job of learning how to use it. As for the software, sometimes new is not better. I love my Kodak easy share program and find it very user friendly. Your pictures at dusk at great and open a whole new option don't they. Hope Chloe get some relief and you too! I know the girls worry you-such a good mother.

Treehugger said...

If THESE are the photos you take when you aren't yet "comfortable" or "familiar" with the new camera, I can't WAIT to see what will be coming next! There were a few in this recent post that took my breath away! VERY NICE! I agree with what "kgmom" said...the most important ability is in YOU, not the camera! And you definitely have it...that "spark", that "eye" for the beauty! :) Thanx for sharing...

Naturegirl said...

Mary wonderful amazing shots!Coming in from Paris! hugs naaturegirl xo

Q said...

Dear Mary,
It is grand you are taking the time to learn all the wonderful things your camera will do. Before you know it you will be snapping away turning this dial and pushing this button. The Egret shots and the Hummingbird photo show how fantastic your new camera is. Enjoy getting to know her. Photos at dusk are wonderful!

Kathi said...

I love the waterfall at dusk photo and the one of Bella and her huly hoop. But, why no photos of Mary, locked out of the house in just her nightie? Now, THAT would be blog-worthy!

~Kathi, who locked herself out of the house less than one week after moving in and had to break a window to get back inside

Corey said...

Don't stay gone long Mary . .

Donna said...

You're taking beautiful photos with your new camera! Very impressive!

What a funny story locking yourself out of the house! I have done that too many times and now have a hide-a-key outside.

I enjoyed your post on "Johnson", the police officer. Great photos!

One more thing...I like to play the mindless game of free cell too!

Have a great day,

Kathie Brown said...

Mary, looks like you are having fun in spite of the learning curve. Your new camera is giving us a whole new look at Mary's View. You are a master already because you have an artist's eye. I like Free Cell also. Why is it that we are drawn to it when we are stressed? I think it is because we can solve those card puzzles even if we can't solve the puzzles in our lives.

Mary said...

Kathie, BINGO! We all need to be able to solve a puzzle easily sometimes...

Nora said...

I went to the local camera shop and held your camera in my hands...I drooled on it is really nice, I think I need one of them....hope you come back soon Mary... but mostly I hope you are taking the time you need to feel good about your blog and blogging...don't let it overwhelm you, remember all you need to do is to write your blog once in a while, post a note about how busy you are, reply to some of the comments when you can and casually browse some of your favorite sites but mostly just enjoy the creative process, that is why you are here and why we all are here and it is why you have one of the top blogs. There are no blogger expectations to live up to, blog as you wish.

JeanMac said...

Wow, I love your pictures. The dog stories always make me happy except when trouble looms - hope eye heals.

Unknown said...

Dearly lovely your stories!! Great photos, don't know why you stress yourself out, hahaha!

Kerri Farley said...

Gosh...I so know what you mean about blogging. Sometimes I feel so GUILTY that I haven't commented back to people. I hate feeling that way!

As always Mary, your pics are fabulous! Looks like your new camera is awesome! That hummer shot is AMAZING! Hope you get some of the rain that we are's rained for 24 hours +...which we needed so desperately!

Lisa at Greenbow said...

I hope Chloe is ok and all else is good at your house.

I love the photos you have posted here Mary. It looks like you and your Fuji are getting along quite well.

Mel said...

Hi Mary!!
Your pictures are amazing! You are a good ad for that camera!
I miss being able to read you more often :(
Take care, and hang that new key copy around your neck... just in case ;)

sonia a. mascaro said...

Nice photos as always, Mary! Love all them!

I would like to invite you to join Ecological Day, next September 2th. You can post on your blog a diversity of issues about the master theme of Ecology, like those photos on your current post. I will open Mister Linky September 1th, 06:00 PM. Would be great if you will participate. Have a nice weekend!

RuthieJ said...

Hi Mare,
So glad to read you got that duplicate key less worry now!
Your photos are wonderful--even with a new, unfamiliar camera. The egret close-ups are fabulous!

MicheleRF said...

You're working wonders with that Fuji! I arrived at your post rather circuitously and am glad I did. Quite entertaining! I don;t think I've ever seen a hummer with such a long skinny neck!

Bill said...

From a guy who just drops by on occasion I did take time to read all the comments after enjoying all the shots as I always do. I learned a lot on this visit including one thing I ALWAYS get out of viewing your blog.....INSPIRATION FOR MY OWN BLOG! You inspire me to keep a sharp eye out for those views that inspire and put us in awe and I too take those shots through a Fuji! Continue the quest!

Susan Gets Native said...

Dude! Are you back YET?????

Unknown said...

I'm Corey's sister...nice to meet ya. Your site makes me happy. Bella looks beautiful at dusk and your pictures are great!

Unknown said...

Well here I am bringing up the rear again. Lately that is how it has been grabbing time when I can to read blogs and reading a few weeks worth.
So i know exactly how you feel.

I chuckled reading about you getting locked out.

I love the ending story of Johnson. Yea for her.

your new camera rocks. Now I need to explore mine more. I've had it for a year now and have not done much. I absolutely loved the night photo with the water.

Take care Mary

Robin's Nesting Place said...

Mary!!! OH MARY!!! Please hurry back soon. I miss you!!!

dmmgmfm said...

Speaking of bald eagles, there were three of them flying over town today! I ran back in the apartment to grab my camera but they were gone by the time I had it in hand.

I will keep trying, though!!


Naturegirl said...

Mary where are you! I'm in Venice now! hugs!! xo

A New England Life said...

Hi Mary,

I just found your blog and think it's wonderful. The new pictures are phenominal too! We are looking for an SLR camera for my daughter and I think this may be the one! I can tell you really enjoy it too.

The new photo's make me feel like I'm right there with you. I can just smell the Southern air ... mmm ... love it. Hope Hanna wasn't too rough on your area!


Anonymous said...

Hi Mary,

Super new images on that new camera of yours. You will have to revise your Profile photo ever so slightly. {:)

Balisha said...

Hi Mary,
I just gave you an award. Come over to my blog to pick it up.

Kathi said...


Where are you? Are you still locked out of the house in your nightie? Do we have to drive down there and rescue you? Whassup?


Crayons said...

Hi Mary,
I've been away for a while, so I didn't know about your new camera. These photos are breathtaking (in the true sense of the word).

I love seeing your selections and your technical finesse. My favorite one is the lily pad. I can just reach out and feel the water.

I celebrate your happiness.

dguzman said...

Beautiful photos! And what's all this about a new camera???

from your fellow doesn't-have-time-to-blog-now blogger.